Sheriff tries to determine if fire chief should be arrested for responding to calls. Lack of state certification is the issue in Freeport, Florida.

WMBB News 13 – The Panhandle’s News Leader

The story above is from Monday before Chief Greenslait was limited to desk duties.

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Freeport, Florida is a real Mickey Marse operation. That’s not a misspelling. That’s the name of the mayor. Mayor Marse, the Walton County Sheriff and other government officials have a bit of a problem to deal with in the form of Freeport Fire Chief Ben Greenslait.

After an investigation, it was determined that Chief Greenslait is not certified by the State of Florida to act as a fire scene commander. Until Greenslait is able to reactivate his Firefighter II status he has been relegated to the role of administrative chief. The concerns about Greenslait’s qualifications were brought to the attention of town officials by former Freeport Fire Chief Wayne Charles.

WMBB-TV image of Chief Ben Greenslait.

Now, according to news reports, it’s a former firefighter, Ted Brown, who has been telling the Walton County Sheriff’s office that Chief Greenslait should be arrested for responding to at least two emergency scenes since he was confined to desk duty. One call was for a distressed boater on Wednesday. The second was a fire call on Thursday. Sheriff Mike Adkinson told’s Tom McLaughlin  that an arrest is something he is considering:

“If he’s taking action as a firefighter where he has no authority to take  action as a firefighter, we have an obligation to step in,” Adkinson said.

Brown said he saw Greenslait acting as an on-scene commander at the Fourth of  July call.

He said he told deputies at the scene Thursday that Greenslait should be  arrested for impersonating a firefighter. He has filed two criminal complaints  with the Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff says he has asked for and is waiting for guidance from the state before taking action.

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